UK climate change experts want us to ditch HD streaming



(Pocket-lint) – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and other video streaming services are being urged to make standard definition the default quality by climate change experts in the UK.

The Royal Society has published a report suggesting that if streaming services dropped the quality of video feeds – to smartphones, at least – platforms could greatly reduce their emissions.

It claims HD streaming on a phone generates around eight times more emissions than SD.

It also claims that digital technology contributes betweem 1.4 and 5.9 per cent of total global emissions.

As well as reducing the quality of streamed movies and TV shows, you can help cut emissions when streaming music by switching off any accompanying video, the Royal Society states.

Speaking to BBC News, co-author of the report, University of East Anglia professor Corinne Le Querre said: “To be honest, digital tech is a small fraction of your emissions compared with, say flying even once a year – but every bit of CO2 saving is significant.”

“What’s more, we’re trying to prompt people to harness the power of digital to help tackle climate change.”

Updating your mobile phone every year is also a no-no – even every two. The report suggests that upgrades every four years or buying second-hand devices will greatly reduce manufacturing emissions.

Writing by Rik Henderson.


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